From State Senators Anthony Musto and Ed Gomes:
Cal Ripken, Jr. & State Senators Hail New Youth Baseball Field
Today Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. and State Senators Carlo Leone (D-Stamford), Anthony Musto (D-Trumbull, Bridgeport) and Ed Gomes (D-Bridgeport) welcomed news of the ground breaking of a new youth baseball field at Longfellow School in Bridgeport.
“We are thrilled to bring one of our Youth Development Parks to Bridgeport. Giving kids a safe place to play is so important and thanks to the support of Mayor Finch, state legislators, the corporate community and other key advocates like Congressman Himes we are able to do that,” said Cal Ripken, Jr.
The project is supported in part by $3.5 million in state bonding, secured by the three legislators in 2009 for youth ballparks in both Bridgeport and Stamford. The effort also received a very generous contribution from the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. The Youth Development Park will be built at Longfellow School in Bridgeport, with a synthetic, multipurpose surface to ensure safety and long-term durability of the park.
“This new ballpark will be a welcome addition to the Longfellow school and all of the surrounding community. Nothing brings families and neighbors together like a good game, and this new field will be first-class. I would like to thank Cal Ripken and his foundation for their support,” said Senator Musto, whose district includes Longfellow School.
“Baseball is a fantastic game and a great, healthy after-school activity for city kids. Cal Ripken, Jr. proves he’s an all-star once again by helping to build this new park in Bridgeport. This field will be a great addition to the neighborhood,” said Senator Gomes.
“I have worked for a few years now to help build new youth baseball fields all across the state, and it’s fantastic to finally see one break ground in Bridgeport. The new field will be a great development for the school, neighborhood kids and their families. I hope the example of this new project will soon lead to another field being built in my home city of Stamford. I will continue to work with the Cal Ripken Foundation to make the Stamford field a reality,” said Senator Leone.
It is hoped that a similar park will soon be built in Stamford, putting to use the remainder of the original $3.5 million grant. Senator Leone has been a long-time advocate of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation and its efforts to build multiple youth baseball parks across Connecticut.
“As we began planning for what we hope will be multiple parks throughout the state, Senator Leone was one of the first people we met with. He cares deeply about at-risk kids, and pledged his support immediately. He is a good friend and we appreciate his leadership very much,” said Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation President & Executive Director, Steve Salem.